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Developer and provider of wholesale data center space Digital Realty Trust is ready to expand its data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The company has bought 38.8 acres of land, adjacent to the campus, for US$17.3m, which it said would be used for data center development.

Digital plans to add about 300,000 sq ft of space in the initial phase of development at the site. When construction will actually start depends on how successful the company is in leasing out the space already available at the existing campus.

The company currently owns 96 properties in 28 markets around the world, comprising a total of about 16.8m sq ft. About 2.2m sq ft of that is held for redevelopment. The properties are in North America, Europe and Singapore.

Digital said it signed leases for 320,000 sq ft of space total in the first quarter of 2011, 63,000 sq ft of which was in Europe. First-quarter leases included 57,000 sq ft of turn-key space at the average rate of $177 per square foot, 186,000 sq ft of powered-base space at $23 per square foot and 42,000 sq ft of non-technical space at $25 per square foot.

DRT Q1 2011 leases signed

The company's turn-key product is a fully built-out data center that includes cooling and power infrastructure. A powered-base building is an improved shell with access to power, fiber connectivity and all the necessary planning permissions for customers that want to build out their own facility.

Digital CEO Michael Foust said in a statement the company continue to see strong demand for its powered-base product from managed services and cloud-based service providers.

"Our flexible turn-key data center solution also saw strong demand with leases signed during the quarter with enterprise customers from industry sectors ranging from hospitality and healthcare to online marketing, financial services and managed services," he added.

Foust said the company expected leases signed during the first quarter to contribute about $19m to its annual revenue.

The company reported net income of $39m on $117.6m funds from operation (FFO) for the first quarter of 2011. The net income was up 7.4% and FFO were up 25.9% year over year.